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2023: What Lies Ahead Of Vulnerable Nigerians -Dukawa

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Abba Dukawa

 

, By Abba Dukawa

 

Without a scintilla of doubt, the year 2022 will go down in the annal as one of the hardest years to Nigerians Nigerians, after the excruciating pains of the civil war pogroms they underwent from 1967 to 1970.

Nigerians had endured economic, security, food security, social, political, and ethno-religious challenges in recent years.

It’s saddening that despite the president’s acclaimed good intentions towards the country, his indecisive actions on some really important issues of national importance are alarming, and these had cost the nation dire consequences.

It is disappointing that despite the avowed puritanical integrity of the president, his administration will be the leaving country in a more vulnerable and sorry situation than it met.

There has been no government in Nigeria’s history that has enjoyed the citizens’ goodwill before like the present administration, but disappointedly reciprocate the trust bestowed on him by Nigerians in very painful manners.

This goodwill has been badly raptured. We never expected the country’s lucrative NDA would only offer employment to the sons and daughters of those close to the corridor of power secretly Despite commoners’ sons and daughters sacrificing a lot and spending hours under the sun to vote for you in the 2015 election. To be fair It will be the highest injustice for anybody not to appreciate administration gains on infrastructural development made and even wailers cannot deny it.

Cost of living, Nigerians are languishing in extreme hardship; daily survival has become an uphill challenge and what people are going through now in the country is reaching the highest apogee since the late 80s. All these have happened under Baba Buhari’s corrective administration. Despite the administration having a genuine intention to restructure the agricultural sector, the policies were not being implemented with a human face because the administration did not feel for Nigerians in this kind of abject unfold hardship. Why in the 21st Century Nigerians are talking about daily survival when in normal circumstances there is no reason for Nigerians talks crying about food prices which beyond their affordability. In October, a report by Global Hunger Index was jointly published by the German-based Welthungerhilfe and Dublin-based Concern Worldwide. Nigeria ranked 103 out of 121 countries in the 2022 Global Hunger Index, a position that signifies the nation “has a level of hunger-stricken country which is serious. inflation reached unprecedented heights; workers purchasing power declined precipitously.

Electricity declined, like many other administration promises, which promised improved power with 10,000 megawatts but the nation’s grid collapses many times available power generation capacity fell by 981.8 megawatts between 2015 and August 2022 despite over N1.51tn intervention in the sector by the Federal Government since the current administration came on board in 2015. A document on Power Generation Trend (2013 – August 2022), obtained in Abuja from the Association of Power Generation Companies, the umbrella body of electricity producers, indicated that while available power generation capacity was 6,616.28MW in 2015, it dropped to 5,634.47MW as at August this year

With poor economic policies, Nigeria has become a beggar and debtor nation. Citizens caught a glimpse of poor economic management as the country is paying heavily for the inebriation. Interest charges on domestic debts will drain N4.5 trillion from the 2023 budget, an increase of 243.51 per cent from the N1.31 trillion proposed for this in 2016. Debt servicing consumed N16.6 trillion in the 16 months period, January 2021 to April 2022. The administration came into office promising fiscal discipline and a departure from profligacy. Even though Successive Nigerian governments had a bad track record with debt, the Buhari regime is by far the worst. The Economist Intelligence Unit declared Nigeria’s revenue-to-debt service ratio as “the worst in the world” (January to April 2022), when up to 92 per cent of all revenue went into servicing debt. It is expected to reach 116 per cent in 2023, projects the IMF and on current trends, 160 per cent by 2027. Data from the Debt Management Office showed that the government’s domestic debt stock was N19.24 trillion by December 2021. By September 2022, it had risen to N21.55 trillion, an increase of 2.31 trillion in just nine months. Insecurity, 2022 has been an eventful year in Nigeria. 28 March, terrorists ambushed and attacked a passenger train en route from Abuja to Kaduna. They killed some passengers and abducted scores more. Every region in the six geopolitical zones is affected. But the nature of the violence and insecurity differ somewhat from place to place within Nigeria. The 2022 Global Peace Index has ranked Nigeria 143 among 163 independent nations and territories, according to the level of peacefulness. Nigeria moved three places up on the log from the 146th position it was ranked last year. The Global Peace Index published by the Institute for Peace and Economics ranked Nigeria at 146 out of 163 countries, only better than countries like Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Russia, which are typically known to have been conflicting areas for a long time. The security challenges are continuing to spiral into general anarchy.

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Nigerians thought corruption would be fought by the administration but the menace become a monster and sadly, the National Council of State presided president of the Federal Republic Of Nigerian has endorsed the pardoned of Dariye, Nyame and 157 other convicts The administration pardoned people who are still serving jail terms despite the highest court in the country Supreme Court in 2021 dismissed one of the pardoned person appealed. In spite Mr President’s well-known credentials of being incorruptible and honest as he has not been found wanting in any responsibilities assigned to him. His anti-corruption campaign has not fared any better than its predecessors because of a lack of political will to march the fighting with actions.

As the country match toward the 2023 general election, there is little or no interest from electorates on who will emerge as the next president because Nigerians voted for PMB’s in the 2015 and 2019 elections to sanitize the system after spending hours under the sun.

To venerable Nigerians only hope for them is wishing for Allah’s blessing, protection and to spare their lives to witness the end of administration alive. We now bow our heads down to seek Allah’s forgiveness for believing only GMB can change the country without seeking Allah’s guidance for him. As we are going for the in the next two.months elections May Lord guide our hand to vote for a leader who is going to be a good leader, not a ruler who will add more hardship on us a leader who will not runs anti- masses policies in the country. May Allah, protect our country from more harm, eradicate anything that may disrupt our peaceful coexistence, aid our incoming leader in the next 150 days to improve the country’s economic progress and forgive our wrongdoings and accept our good deeds. Happy new year to millions of venerable Nigerians.

Dukawa wrote in from Kano

Opinion

Wake up North-Abubakar Sadiq Dauda

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CBN Governor Emefiele

 

By Abubakar Sadiq Dauda

It is absurd that my Northern brothers are nagging and complaining over the unavailability of the new redesigned currency when we can transact using POS machines, online banking and USSD.

So far, many southerners are unperturbed with the happenings. The complaint, curses and insults is mainly coming from the North. It is ridiculous that the masses and average persons in the North are hailing our politicians for opposing the monetary redesign scheme, not knowing that the politicians are crying because it is going to affect their chances in the upcoming elections if the policy is not reversed or extended.

 

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I can’t fathom how the unavailability of the newly redesigned currency affects any smooth transaction of any kind when there are many online payments platforms, numerous POS terminals in our shops and markets.

The North must learn to embrace technology. We must not relegate ourselves to second division when it comes to education and technology. Even against many odds, we must wise up. We must equip ourselves with basic knowledge in areas of communications and technology.

It is a clarion call, let us wake up!

Sadiq writes from Kano. Can be reached via sadiqdauda55@gmail.com

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Opinion

The Falling State Of Businesses In Nigeria-Umar Ismaila Isa

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Umar Ismaila Isa

 

By Umar Ismaila Isa

Its saddening, psychologically and traumatically worrying that in our today’s Nigeria, the major employers of labour are not just falling, but also wobbling, humbling, crumbling and collapsing like packs of cards much to the chagrin of other African countries that have long been venerating and reverencing and referencing Nigeria’s economy as the giant of the continent. How are the mighty falling.

Some of the factors responsible for these colossal falls are partisan political influence, interest as well as corruption which had brought businesses in Nigeria to their humble knees, specifically the micro, small and medium enterprises, while also not staking claims for even common macroeconomic factors like recessions, insecurity, government debt, exchange rate and high-interest rates.

As we speak, there were over 41million MSMEs in Nigeria in 2017. which have as at 2022 dropped to about 35 million.

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No doubt, failure to provide value money can make customers disgruntled and avoid patronage, so also poor inventory management, failure to differentiate product and services in a highly competitive environment, and strong bargaining power of buyers which can as well cause business failure, not mentioning weak economy, tax burden, high exchange rate, lower purchasing power, high inflation, money running out being in the wrong market, lack of research, bad partnerships and wrong allocation. All these undoubtedly in no small measure can cause business failure.

Also, Challenges like rising cost and reduced revenue, poor power supply, restrictive economic policies, foreign exchange hike, high cost of production, insecurity, high inflation rate have drastically reduced the number of MSMEs which were over 41million in 2017 and now ar about 35million in the just last year 2022.

The data from the bureau of labor statistics isn’t encouraging at all, as it shows that approximately 20percent of new businesses faile during the first two years of operation, 45percent during the first five years and 65percent during the first ten years, while only 25percent makes it to 15 years or more.

In Nigeria, MSMEs account for 48percent of the Gross Domestic Product, (GDP), 96percent of businesses, 84percent of employment in the the country, according to a pricewaterhousecoopers report, and also the three CCCs which are concept, capability and capital. So it’s worthwhile to make sure that before engaging in any business that you make sure you have the basic concept, capability before investing your capital.

As a matter of fact and emergency, beyond the rhetorics, there are practical ways government can create the right environment for businesses to thrive increase, the ease of doing business, eliminate multiple taxations of MSMEs, encourage public-private partnerships, improve power supply, tackle the issue of foreign exchange hike, because with the rate of inflation in the country many businesses can’t survive.

The government and other necessary authority have to take measures to save the country before it’s too late, and the time is now especially as we prepare to elect another president in less than 40 days from now that will take the baton of leadership from President Buhari.

Umar Isa is a business writer and analyst. He writes from Kano and can be reached via issihbaba@gmail.com

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Opinion

What Axe Does Governor Yahaya Bello Has To Grind With The Ohinoyi?

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By Ozumi Abdul

I read in bathed breath the query letter issued by the Kogi state government to the paramount ruler of Ebira Kingdom, The Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Dr Ibrahim Ado dated 5th January 2023, wherein the revered and venerated traditional ruler was indicted and inculpated for his failure to come out of his Azad Palace to welcome President Muhammadu Buhari during his last year December’s visit to Okene to commission the legacy projects of Governor Yahaya Bello’s led administration in the place, particularly the newly built Okene Reference Hospital and the refurbished official Ohinoyi palace.

Therein in the query letter signed by the state’s Director of Chieftaincy Affairs, Enimola Eniola, the Ohinoyi was shotgunned and impelled to reply to it within the 48 hours from the day it was issued, being on the 5th January, 2023.

As a concerned and full fledged son of the soil, I became seriously concerned, perturbed and disturbed, hoping for the very best way these two illustrious sons of Ebiraland can diplomatically meander through the egoistic duels that has subtly been marring their relationship since the coming on board of this Kogi state’s government.

I fervently prayed for the abatement of the seeming gloom of doom that is looming large, if the relationship between the Ohinoyi and the governor gets deteriorated, and breaks down beyond repairs.

God forbid, I dreaded, and still dreading the unfortunate Kogi version of Ganduje versus Sanusi debacles and faceoffs in Kano state, the one that led to Sanusi Lamido Sanusi || being deposed as the 14th Emir of the ancient city of Kano, by the Abdullahi Ganduje led Kano state government.

I dread the fact that the relative peace Ebiraland has been enjoying since the coming on board of the Yahaya Bello’s led administration might soon be stymied and once again shrouded in the tumultuous state of yester years, when in Ebiraland life was “Nasty, Brutish, and Short”: Yes, that you can’t take that away from this Yahaya Bello’s administration in Kogi state, because his administration stemmed the tides everything insecurity in not just the Kogi Central alone, but the entirety of the state; he came and restore parity and sanity in the state that was hitherto ravaged by the activities of different cells of gun-trotting and gun-fighting non state actors.

Worryingly though, one thing that is, and will surely be of great concern to every Ebira son and daughter, is the umpteenth running subtle battles between the Ohinoyi and the governor; the battles rumours have it in some quarters that are more of “patriarchally historical” than egoistical; because one will surely be mystified to know that the Ohinoyi can be served a query letter for his failure to come out of his palace to welcome President Buhari during his visit to Okene, without a prior official letter noticing him of the president’s purported visit to his domain from the state government, coupled with the fact that bomb went off right in front of his palace on the scheduled day of the President’s visit, where about four people lost their lives, as well as the destruction of the barricading fence of his Azad palace.

In other northern states for instance, particularly the core northern states like Kano and Zaria Emirates, where reverence and veneration for their paramount rulers (Emirs) are given unequal premium, whenever a president goes visiting to their (the Emirs) domains, he is usually led by the governors of the states to their palaces, where he (president)pays homages to them; then proceed together to the venue(s) of the event(s) in which purpose(s) the president goes to the state. Then, why is ours different and have become embarrassing subject of discourses in both conventional and social media?

Why is Governor Yahaya Bello exuberantly dancing to the sound of the destructive drums of sycophantic naysayers who don’t mean well for him and his government? Why is he being lulled by the metaphoric lullaby and mendacity of power, power that is only transiently tenure-bound; believing he has an axe or axes to grind with the Ohinoyi, a nonagenarian at that who is old enough to be his grandfather?

Governor Yahaya needs to halt these dances that may hurt and haunt him even after the expiration of his tenure as a governor. He needs to thread with caution so that he won’t walk the tight rope of life after the conclusion of his tenure as a governor.

The fact that the Ohinoyi responded to the query, though days after the 48 hours the Kogi government impelled him to answer the query, with sheer wisdom, maturity and equanimity does not necessarily mean that the nonagenarian is overtly contended with being maligned and contemned by the state government in such a ridiculous and ludicrous manner.

A proverb in my native Ebira parlance has it that when a dog is on the cusp of public-glare disgrace, he will be all of sudden be inflicted with sores right at the back of its head, and out of the reach of the leaking of its tongue, because leaking the sore will endear the sores’ quick healing. May Governor Yahaya Bello never be such proverbial dog.

Ozumi Abdul is a staff Columnist in Arewa Trust.

He can be reached via Abdulozumi83@gmail.com

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